May Day, May Day: Not a Trade Deficit

Dear Mr. President!

Soon some of your allies and trade partners will face punishment by tariffs from your country, once the inventor of free trade and the champion of multilateralism. You want to protect jobs in your country, fair enough. And so, our local Ford dealer got the message and advertised on the front page of our local paper a quintessential „American“ car. Any buyers?

You complained about too many Mercedes and BMW cars on the streets of Manhattan. Most people would agree and prefer bicycles there anyway. But look what you can get for the same price over here, a BMW 330d Touring. And compare fuel consumption and emissions (taken from BMW website) and compare it with the ad above: fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 5,7-5,6, CO2-emissions in g/km (combined): 149-148. There is less a trade than a technological deficit, it seems to me.

As a good businessman you claim you are, you may agree that – unless I’d have Wild West soft spot – I would always go for the best deal. My point is: trade deficits are created in the global market place which your country strived for (and used over decades to its advantage) and where customers can freely decide what to purchase. We would have to eat a lot of Subway subs, McDonald’s burgers, Ben & Jerry ice cream and Starbucks to-go coffees to compensate for one BMW exported. Believe me, we try hard, but we can stomach only so much.

So we cherish competition and the best deal. What about you?


Read also:

Article on America’s role, DIE ZEIT online, 3 May 2018